Home owners and communities will be able to get a guaranteed price for electricity they generate from small renewable energy sources with the launch of the feed in tariff (FIT) scheme on Thursday.

The FIT aims to emulate the success of similar ones on continental Europe.

The scheme requires energy suppliers with over 50,000 domestic customers to pay their electricity customers for power they produce from small scale solar photovoltaic, wind, hydro, anaerobic digestion, and Combined Heat and Power units.

“Householders who invest in renewables will be making a sensible financial return for themselves as well as helping to bring down the costs for everyone's benefit,” Stuart Pocock, head of on-site renewables at the Renewable Energy Association, said.

“In 10 years' time we want technologies like solar and wind to be as commonplace and affordable as satellite dishes or boilers.”